Wife is in the market for a hybrid-style bicycle. There are some insane deals on leftover 2013s.
Today she test rode a Specialized Vita and Ariel. They were both in her correct size (women's small.)
She will be riding 80% on paved paths and roads (some roads are rough) and 20% on hard-packed dirt.
The Vita has 700x32 tires and rigid forks. It has rim-brakes.
The Ariel was actually the disc version. It has 700x38 tires, mechanical disc brakes, and Suntour 60mm front suspension.
She liked both bikes but the test rides were on pavement only.
It seems to me the Vita is the way to go. I've read that hybrid bikes don't really benefit from front suspension. And are mechanical disc brakes any better than rim brakes?
The tires give me pause, though. Does a 700x32 tire do okay on hard-packed dirt? Does it give a decent ride?
Which bike do you think would be better for her needs? Thanks for any feedback.